Trials & Litigation
Fired IT director plans whistleblower suit against Zimmerman prosecutors, lawyer says
Posted Jul 17, 2013 11:03 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
An information technology director who was fired by the prosecutors of George Zimmerman plans to file a whistleblower suit against his former employer, according to a lawyer for the former worker.
Wesley White, who represents fired IT director Ben Kruidbos, told Reuters and Jacksonville.com that the suit would be filed in the next 30 days. NBC News also has a story. White is also a former State Attorney employee who resigned from the office in December.
Kruidbos learned about his dismissal on Friday in a letter informing him that he “can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.” Kruidbos had testified in June about his concerns that the office in Jacksonville, Fla., had failed to give exculpatory materials to defense lawyers for Zimmerman, who was acquitted on Saturday in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The office is headed by State Attorney Angela Corey, who tells Reuters that her office “adhered to the highest standards of ethical behavior."
Kruidbos testified in a pretrial hearing that he had extracted photos from the cell phone of Trayvon Martin that showed a gun, a marijuana plant and jewelry. The defense received the information shortly before the trial, but the judge ruled it was inadmissible.
The dismissal letter says Kruidbos should have taken his concerns to someone in the prosecutor’s office and did a poor job overseeing the IT department. It also questions Kruidbos' conduct in a March 2013 investigation of hacked computers and says he was slow in turning over a cell phone once used by White. When the phone was turned over, it had been returned to factory settings, the letter alleged.
“You have proven to be completely untrustworthy,” the letter said. “Because of your deliberate, willful and unscrupulous actions, you can never again be trusted to step foot in this office.”